Are you tired but wired? Here are my top 10 tips to enhance your body’s resilience to stress…
- B complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B7) are vitally important for the adrenals and energy production. B vitamins are water soluble, therefore, must be replenished on a daily basis. They are found in a wide range of foods including nutritional yeast, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, dairy and meat. However, they are difficult to obtain due to heat destruction during cooking. To avoid this, include in your diet raw vegetables, sprouted grains/legumes, and raw dairy and eggs (if you tolerate them) for more B vitamins.
- Vitamin C is also important for the adrenals. Similarly to vitamin B, vitamin C is water-soluble and must be replenished daily. It is found in camu camu, kiwifruit, capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli, berries and citrus fruits. Aim to eat more of these vitamin C foods raw rather than cooked, as vitamin C is also destroyed by heat.
- Magnesium is rapidly depleted by the adrenal glands during times of stress. Magnesium is water-soluble just like B complex vitamins and vitamin C, therefore, must be consumed every day. It is found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and cacao. It is often difficult to obtain enough through diet alone, supplementation may be inevitable. Tip: a simple test to determine if you are magnesium deficient id to stick your tongue out in front of a mirror – slight shaking or quivering indicates magnesium deficiency.
- Caffeine increases adrenaline, which depletes the body of nutrients, particularly B vitamins and magnesium. Sources of caffeine are coffee and energy drinks, and tea to a lesser extent. Substitute coffee with dandelion coffee, chai or herbal tea if it is your morning ritual.
- Diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digest and repair. Most of us live our lives in our sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for fight, flight and freeze. Diaphragmatic breathing is the simplest way to switch from your sympathetic nervous system to your parasympathetic nervous system. If you need a reminder to breathe diaphragmatically, place your hands on your belly on the hour, every hour. Breathe slowly and deeply for ten breaths with your eyes closed. This will reduce stress, while increasing your brain function and energy levels by supplying the body with fresh oxygen. Check out my Stress Less Tonic.
- Movement releases endorphins, promoting a positive outlook on life. Individuals with a negative outlook or depressive thoughts, perceive their stress levels to be higher. Stress is subjective (personal opinion, as opposed to objective which is measurable). Perception may differ from reality. Yoga and more yin activities are beneficial for stress.
- Sleep and energy are often the cause of stress. If we are tired or do not have enough energy to do everything we want to, this creates stress. Ensuring high quality sleep and consistent energy levels is a good start in reducing your stress. Check out my Sleep Deep Tonic and Top 10 Tips to Sleep Deep Blog.
- Relax and slow down. We feel stressed when our life is passing before our eyes and we do not have time to appreciate the little things. Live in the moment and be grateful for everything. People with depression live in the past and people with anxiety live in the future. “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Check out my Chillax (Chill Out & Relax) Tonic.
- Do what you love. Write a list of everything you love to do and schedule it in your diary. Daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly depending on what it is.
- Herbal Medicine. Adaptogenic herbs increase the body’s resistance to physical, environmental, emotional or biological stressors and promote normal physiologic function. The following herbs are adaptogens; Astragalus, Korean ginseng, Gotu kola, Korean ginseng, Schisandra, Shatavari and Withania. The herbs Licorice and Rhodiola are “adrenal tonics” which also support the adrenal glands during times of stress. Consult with me to determine which herbs are indicated in your individual case.
Check out my recipe ~ Stress Less Bliss Balls